Netherlands rejects Venezuelan accusations
The Netherlands has rejected allegations by Caracas that the United States was using Dutch Caribbean islands to mount military operations against Venezuela.
The Hague--Venezuela claimed last week Thursday that the US military was using the bases in Aruba and Curacao to prepare for an act of "aggression".
"The latest allegations by Venezuela that Curacao and Aruba are being used by the United States to prepare an attack against that country are unfair, baseless and fantastical," Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said.
"The Netherlands does not permit the use of its territory for aggression and aspires to good relations with Venezuela," the minister said in a statement.
Verhagen wanted the Venezuelan ambassador to explain the allegations, it said.
At the meeting, The Netherlands would restate that civilian airports on The Netherlands Antilles "are put at the service of the United States to enable them to fight against drugs trafficking using non-armed planes," it said.
Washington also says that the US soldiers deployed on Aruba and Curacao are only on a counternarcotics mission.
Venezuela's foreign ministry on Thursday called on the international community to condemn alleged incursions into its airspace by US military drones launched from Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles.
"The subsequent violation of Venezuelan airspace on the part of the US military aircraft... allows us to conclude that the warmongering US government, in league with the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is preparing an aggression against the territory and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela," it said.
The ministry did not give details of the alleged incursions.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez also charged this month that the US military was using the Dutch islands off his country's Caribbean coast as a staging area for a possible attack.
He accused the United States of launching a spy plane from Colombia that he said violated his country's airspace, and vowed to shoot down any future such aircraft.
Caracas suspended diplomatic relations with Colombia in July in response to a military bases deal between Washington and Bogota, calling it a military threat to the sovereignty of Latin American countries and saying it paved the way for a possible attack on Venezuela.